Back in February 2022 we went to a lovely winter wedding. As you can see the wedding flowers were gorgeous and it seemed a shame that they were only going to be enjoyed for a day or two. The little bridesmaid and I came up with a plan to press the flowers from her bouquet and then use the elements we'd pressed to make a picture for the bride to keep as a memento of her happy day. It was a relatively straightforward project and I thought Cut Flower Patch growers might be interested to know how we went about it.
Step one - press your flowers
Ideally flowers should be pressed when they are fresh and at their best. So after leaving the bouquet in water overnight, as soon as I got home the next day I deconstructed the bouquet and snipped off individual elements from both the foliage and flowers and laid them between 2 sheets of blotting paper. I pressed as much of the bouquet as possible as I wasn't sure how all the elements would press and I wanted to make sure we had plenty to choose from when it came to assembling the final piece. Card was added between each double layer of blotting paper and then the press secured tightly. You can press flowers with blotting paper put between the pages of a heavy book if you don't have a flower press.
Step two - keep an eye on your pressings
Roses, because they are a dense flower and hold a lot of moisture, are especially difficult to press as it's hard to dry them out fully before they go mouldy. Therefore I decided to cut the rose flower heads in half before pressing.
Most flower pressing tutorials suggest you leave the flowers in the press for 2 weeks but I always check them after 5 days and then rearrange the flowers to ensure they are sitting on a dry section of blotting paper. As I was particularly concerned about the roses I continued to check the press every few days and rearranged the roses, again to ensure they were sitting on a dry section of blotting paper.
Step three - preparing to apply your flowers
After around 3 weeks all the flowers and foliage were dry and good to go. We decided that A3 portrait was about the right size for the final piece having taken into consideration the size of the pressed flowers and the quantity we had available to work with. We used Daler Rowney Snow White textured mount board (I use this colour a lot for my botanical pieces, it's seems to work well as a background to most flowers types and colours). The board is quite dense and the flowers can be applied directly to the board. To help to frame the picture we used masking tape to apply a 4cm cardboard border,
Step four - assembling your piece
The bridesmaid laid out the flowers and foliage onto the mountboard, she very quickly got the idea of how to do this in order to create a good balance of flowers, foliage, size, shape and colour.
Using a fine paintbrush she applied a light covering of glue to the back of the flower/foliage.
TOP TIP: Mod Podge Matte glue is ideal, unlike other PVA glue it rarely leaves any visual traces.
Using tweezers she carefully positioned each piece onto the mountboard, when all the pieces had been glued we removed the cardboard border. After leaving the picture to dry for 30 minutes we framed the final piece in a slim, black metal frame. The bride was thrilled with the gift and now has pride of place in her sitting room. Happy days!